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All-Stars tweet their thoughts on Skills Competition

by Davis Harper
The fans at Scotiabank Place weren't the only ones atwitter with excitement for the 2012 Molson Canadian All-Star Skills Competition on Saturday night.

Sixteen of this year's All-Stars agreed to populate their Twitter timelines as the skills competition played out, providing a unique play-by-play format for their followers. The commentary was filled with compliments, chirps and unbridled wonder at the performances of their peers.

The night started with the Bridgestone NHL Fastest Skater, in which Team Alfredsson prevailed by a 4-2 score. Team Alfredsson's Carl Hagelin beat Colin Greening in a skate-off for the win, and New York Rangers teammate Henrik Lundqvist gave him a shoutout on Twitter.

@HLundqvist30: If the hockey world didn't now @CarlHagelin was a fast skater they know it now…

Team Chara's Tyler Seguin, who had a break until the Canadian Tire NHL Accuracy Shooting competition, wasn't shaken by the early deficit.

@tylerseguin92: And one event is finished. Guess were loosing. Time to bounce back haha.

During warmups, Allstate Insurance Breakaway Challenge foes Ryan Johansen, the rookie competitor from Team Chara, and Logan Couture, the Sharks' sharpshooter from Team Alfredsson, both expressed some early anxiety.

@Logancouture: Worked on the moves all warmup. Hopefully I can pull them off when the pressures on

@RyanJohansen19: I need a shoot out move!! #quick

Perhaps the pair should have taken a few more shots instead of hopping on their smartphones.

Patrick Kane, who hadn't checked in on Twitter since earlier in the afternoon, took the top spot after he donned a Superman cape for his last two shots. The Chicago Blackhawks star helped close the gap between the teams with 47 percent of the fan vote. In his post-round tweet, Kane thanked the fans and teammate Marian Hossa, who helped him tie the cape.

@88PKane: Thank you fans for voting for me. Also big thanks to Hoss for the assist. I had a lot of fun.

Resident media guy Scott Hartnell, who also wore a microphone for NBC Sports Network during the competition, regularly tweeted his reaction to the proceedings.

@Hartsy19: Wow there are some sweeeeeet moves tonight. #breakawaychallenge #superkane #ministick

Next up was the Canadian Tire NHL Accuracy Shooting, in which Dallas and Team Chara marksman Jamie Benn defeated Steven Stamkos for the title.

@jamiebenn14: Make it look easy but way harder than it looks! Points on the board! #TeamChara #ASG

Benn got help from Edmonton's Jordan Eberle, who provided some pinpoint passes.

@ebs_14: Crispy passes to @jamiebenn14

With most of those on the ice taking part in the G Series NHL Skills Challenge Relay, there was a lull in activity for a few minutes. A few tweeters expressed their amazement with Pavel Datsyuk -- the No. 1 pick by Team Chara in Thursday's Fantasy Draft -- and his prodigious puck control.

@RyanJohansen19: I think datsyuk is still dizzy

@HLundqvist30: There is smooth and then there is Pavel Datsyk..

@JLupul: I just got Datsuyk to show how to do his sick breakaway move. His response, "like this, it's so easy." Ya maybe for you bro... #juicymitts

Shortly after, the event many in the arena had been waiting for got under way. The BlackBerry NHL Hardest Shot competition saw Zdeno Chara shatter his own record with a 108.8 mph blast. Buffalo rookie Luke Adam, a constant presence on Twitter and Team Chara's rookie contributor in the event, expressed his admiration to his 13,000+ followers.

@LukeJAdam: Wow. 108?? Unhuman.. that's rediculas. Real pleased with 98.3 hah surprised myself

Eberle provided his own ice-level analysis.

@ebs_14: Chara"s backhand one timer is probably harder then my clapper. #beast

Leading scorer Steven Stamkos won the Tim Hortons NHL Elimination Shootout, which capped a 21-12 overall win for Team Alfredsson. After the competition wrapped, Adam added one last tweet, a promise to his followers that Team Chara would exact revenge in tomorrow's big game.

@LukeJAdam: Great time at the skills!! Team chara will get the big win in the game Sunday!
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